Monday, January 31, 2022

Cape Primrose

This plant variety is brand new to me, so it is extra fun to explore it's form in ink and watercolor.  A cousin to an African violet, streptocarpus is a showy bloomer.  It's rich, velvety blooms are trumpet shaped, spreading out from central stems. I need to mass the blooms a little more, instead of delineating every bloom.  I guess I'm a little too "in my head" with the newness of it all!  My favorite grandmother grew African violets when she was young, so I guess this is my gateway bloom!  Painting number 3316 in 3316 days. 

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Yellow Moon Cactus

After a nerve wrecking Chief's game, I am drowning my post game sorrows with a little ink and watercolor tonight.  I love the vibrant yellow color of this moon, and it is fun to sketch with ink.  Pen and ink is good art therapy, with a little watercolor wash to ease the mind.  Painting number 3315 in 3315 days, and day 29 of the #stradaeasel challenge.

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Four Cows

I love sketching in the pasture on a sunny winter day - especially when these guys are feeding!  When I see them out, I have to make sure my dog is in the house, or they will not stay long in view!   Here I am sketching first in ink, then following in with watercolor. I got a little darker with my color than usual, and even think I could have left a bit more white.  Every painting is a lesson, and this day tells me I need to paint more cows!  Painting number 3314 in 3314 days,  and day 28 of the #stradaeasel challenge. 

Friday, January 28, 2022

Old Pin Oak


I'm so happy I could find time to paint this old oak tree in oils on this busy day.  I sketched this a couple of days ago, and the desire to take oils to it, remained.  I think it might be fun to look up into the branches from the base, too, but not today. I don't know where the time goes, but it seems i never have enough painting time!  Painting number 3313 in 3313 days,  and day 27 #stradaeasel challenge.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Cape Primrose and Strawflowers

I love growing everything, so when I find a plant variety that I don't have, I simply must bring them home with me.  Drawn in by the strawflowers, the velvety purple streptocarpus called to me from the next table.  I've never seen these flowers before, but they are a cousin of African violets.  They should bloom nearly all the time, according to their gardener, so I am trying them!  My Grandma Frank used to grow African violets, and was even in a club.  With ink, I sketched out my flowers, adding watercolor.  I went back in with a little more ink before moving on to another painting.  Love getting to paint at Family Tree Nursery in Overland Park!  Painting number 3312 in 3312 days, and day 26 #stradaeasel challenge. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Pin Oak

This Pin Oak planted by my grandmother is a constant companion on the lawn, and I'm drawing it in pen and ink today. Ink is such a timeless choice for the landscape, and always so comfortable in my hand.  This tree is one of two planted when their first child joined the marines.  Happy to live where my roots were planted generations ago.  Painting number 3311 in 3311 days, and day 25 #stradaeasel challenge.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Pink Geraniums

What fun it is to paint in the greenhouse of Family Tree Nursery!  Like a kid in a candy store - it takes me quite a while to narrow my search for painting subjects.  The avid gardener in me is gathering as much information as possible, already planning locations for possible adoptees.  I am currently wintering over two geraniums, but the cheerful pink blooms of this one called to me, so this one now adorns my kitchen table!  With a little ink and watercolor, I paint this one in the 30 minutes of paint time I have left, while chatting with my mom who has accompanied me today.  We have shopping age lunch planned afterward. Painting number 3310 in 3310 days, and day 24 #stradaeasel challenge. 

Monday, January 24, 2022

Marcia's Strawflowers

So fun to paint these sunny strawflowers today in the greenhouse at Family TreeNursery!  When I walked in,  the temperature and humidity raised, and the heady perfume of plants and pouring soil filled the air.  It smelled like spring.  Already the gardening bug is biting, and it's still January.  The isolation of covid deepened my love of nurturing the earth and coaxing forth it's bounty.  Always an avid gardener, I was able to spend time in my gardens like never before, actually enjoying it more without all of my looming deadlines. This miniature painting is for an artist friend, which will be assembled with other miniature paintings into a mobile for Marcia to enjoy.  What a fun thing to be able to watch paintings turn with the wind for an ever changing show!  It feels just like a tropical vacation to get away and paint like this!!  Oh - and you know I brought these home for my own garden!   Painting number 3309 in 3309 days, and day 23 #stradaeasel challenge.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Snow on Cedar Trail


My dog really enjoys a run around the property, especially during the winter months.  So, I took him out early to hunt for any snow left after the warm days of sunshine.  This path is heavily shaded by cedars in several places, and I was so happy to find a lovely snowscene left to paint!  Returning with my oils, it is actually another warm day to paint with little wind.  I can already see that the distant trees need to be roughed up a little, but that is an easy fix while the paint is still wet!  SO relaxing to stand in this place and paint, and I love painting the last remaining snow on the cedar trail this afternoon! Painting number 3308 in 3308 days, and day 22 #stradaeasel challenge

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Old Hackberry

This old giant has been here for generations.  The sprawling branches of this hackberry tree reach out so very far, I really should measure one.  It seems to stretch 100 feet, and who knows how may people it would take to reach around it's trunk. We have two of these big beauties in the same pasture. So on this sunny day I am drawing her with pen and ink, using a favorite TWSBI and Levenger's Raven Black ink.  I love the timeless feel ink lends to this subject. Painting number 3307 in 3307 days and day 21 of the #stradaeasel challenge. 

Friday, January 21, 2022

Snow Along the Creek

Today finds me painting a favorite creek from a different vantage - and LOVING the colors out in the landscape!  I love a clear January day with it's warm, pale turquoise sky, and the way the sunlight warms up those dry grasses popping out of the snow.  The warm and cool colors play together in perfect harmony not far from where my little ones all went to school.  Love this creek as it stretches out toward the lake.  I wonder how may people walk past this every day, and do not see the beauty.  Painting number 3306 in 3306 days, and day 20 of the #stradaeasel challenge.  

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Winter Milk Barn

 I love this old place.  As a child, my brother and I climbed the wooden rails of the corral, feeling very tall on that top rail.  As my children grew, we explored the buildings, finding everything from old spoons to kittens in the hidden spaces.  There is a tuxedo barn cat living there now - as I track his footprints in the snow. I can see that he's been hunting all over the pasture and between barns.  Whenever the kids needed to burn off energy, I'd herd them to this barn and we'd race down to the pond. Once there, it was a search for frogs and tossing of sticks in the water, that passed the time. Just living in a place like this is peaceful, walking where generations of my people have walked.  And getting to paint it in oils, as none of them did, is something special indeed.  Painting number 3305 in 3305 days, and day 19 #stradaeasel challenge. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022


Tonight finds me painting the red blooms of anthurium that brighten my kitchen.  I purchased this plant two years ago at Family Tree Nursery, and it has flourished.  It is nearly always blooming, only once have I seen it between blooms.  I love how it's vibrant red blooms cheer up this space, so I am painting them in ink and watercolor. Starting first with an ink sketch, I then drop in that bright color, adding to it before the masses dry.  Then I add a little more ink and call it done.  Painting number 3304 in 3304 days, and day 18 #stradaeasel challenge.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Snow at Winter Creek

I can't possibly resist a winding rural creek flanked with snow!  These warm days are melting the snow quickly in open areas, but in the shady areas down by the water, the snow remains.  Through the years, I've become adept at finding snow, knowing where the last vestiges will be, going to those spots to paint.  The ponds and creeks have been frozen around here, and each day I return to see if there's a little melting.  The water looks black this time of year - if the ice is off - and I love to paint it.  This winter's day has been full of soft colors and dappled sun, and I hope it has seeped into my painting.  Painting number 3303 in 3303 days, and day 17 of the #stradaeasel challenge.  

Monday, January 17, 2022

Snow on Cedars


Yesterday, I painted another cedar over near the pole barn on a very overcast, dark day.  The mood and feeling of the scene was cold and dramatic.  The sun is out and shining on the glistening landscape, and I hear a constant dripping from the trees.  I love the light and shadow chroma on such a day - and I'm lucky to get to paint it now!  Moving toward the southwest corner of our property, the cedars grow tall along the shaded path, and the snow lasts longer here than anywhere.  So, I work fast and still the snow melts faster than I can paint - and my "assistant" LOVES playing in that snow as I work!  Painting number 3302 in 3302 days, and day 16 #stradaeasel challenge.   I've taken many photos on this glorious day, and I may just be painting some from reference since that silly snow just won't stick around!  

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Snow on Cedar

As I walk through this winter wonderland, beautiful "paintings" surround me.  Everywhere I look, I see magic in the glistening landscape.  The drama of snow on cedar boughs pulls me in for this painting, as so many others still call my name.  Snow doesn't last long around here, so I must make the most of my daylight hours.  Defying my routine, today, I paint first.  I am lucky to have another pristine snow day where wind and sun have not left their mark, so I am at it early.  As I finished I got the call to rush over and meet our newest family addition - baby Layne!  Sooooo happy to hold that sweet baby in my arms, and so like his father he looks!  Painting number 3301 in 3301 days. 

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Snow Path to Yellow Barn

After yesterday's warmth in the 50's, I awoke to this pristine winter snowscene this morning!  It's my favorite kind of snow that sticks to every branch and blade - so I had to paint it before wind or sun destroyed it.  I like to find wildlife tracks in the snow when I'm out - and today there were only bird and kitty tracks, plus my Beau's giant running tracks as he chased and played in the snow!  I love the quiet of new fallen snow, hardly a bird makes a peep as I work.  I hiked first, to heat myself up in this biting cold, and still my fingers are tingling before I finish.  I didn't grab hand warmers on my way out, and didn't want to go back for them.  I sure will remember tomorrow!  Love this time spent outdoors painting, it restores my soul.  Painting is 3300 in 3300 days, and day 14 #stradaeaselchallenge!  Wowza!

Friday, January 14, 2022

Home on the Hill

I love a moody day for painting in the pasture, the colors are so rich and saturated.  This January day has been very warm in the 50's, though we're expecting snow to start at midnight.  I'm excited for a lovely blanket of white to start the weekend.  With no scheduled activities tomorrow, I hope to settle in to the winter wonderland and create some magic!  This day has it's own magic - our newest little grandson was born to Tyler and Hannah.  Words cannot express how deeply I want to share this important day together with them and our family, but we are caught in the web of continual hospital lockdown.  So we celebrate from afar, another life-changing event we can't share together.  These moments once lost, cannot be retrieved.  Painting number 3299 in 3299 days, and day 13 #stradaeasel challenge 

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Suburban Orchids

 I can't resist painting beautiful orchids - and I love growing them, too!  Their blooms are so delicate on wandering stems, the forms are wonderful to paint. I sketched these beauties out first with ink, then came back in with watercolor. Suburban Lawn and Garden is a great place to meet artist friends and paint.  They are so welcoming, and have snacks and drinks for us, too!  It's so nice to spend time painting before shopping for new plants to take home!  Painting number 3298 in 3298 days. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Grafted Cacti

The best part of this artist life is getting to paint a different place every day!  The Monday Morning Watercolorists met at Suburban Lawn and Garden this week, where we painted for two hours, then shared our work before shopping the nursery!  After painting the vibrant colors of these Moon Cacti, I chose three to bring home to fill a small terrarium that looks like a conservatory.  This place is so welcoming, offering us veggies, dip and cookies while we painted!  What a lovely break from another very busy day!  Painting number 3297 in 3297 days. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Home Inked

I love drawing outdoors in the golden hour - the whole place shines with golden light!  Often when I'm working in the late day, the colors around me turn magical, causing me to want to ditch my efforts and grab a new panel - because my scene is suddenly a different, magical one!  Perhaps I need to wait until the absolute last minute to begin, so the beauty is before me when I start the paint?  This day, I really just wanted to spend a little time with my favorite pen and ink, bask in the peaceful sounds of country life, and become one with my surroundings.  Such a good reset on a stressful day.  Painting number 3296 in 3296 days, and day 10 #stradaeasel challenge.   I think the #win_winter2022 challenge ended yesterday, which is the week long winter plein air challenge.  I hope to paint outside every day this winter! 

Monday, January 10, 2022

January Pond

What a lovely winter day - after those days in the teens, I am reveling in it!  The surface of the pond is still frozen, but I'm sure it will start melting in the next few days.  I want to try to capture the look of melting ice on the surface of the pond.  Today, I could hear some animal nearby, digging in the ground and stepping on leaves.  It was so loud at one point that I thought it might be a deer.  I do love watching the wildlife while out painting, and there have been plenty of geese flying overhead, headed northwest.  I love the warm weather to paint in, but I'm still longing for snow!  Painting number 3295 in 3295 days.  This is also day 9 #stradaeasel challenge and #win_winter2022. 

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Milk Barn Morning

I love a misty, drizzly day for painting in oils.  The colors are saturated and rich, and my paints are still thick from the freezer.  The air is crisp but so much warmer than yesterday's 12 degrees, that I don't feel the cold. It is still and quiet out here, a perfect time to paint.  I am revisiting earlier work, finding new ways to reveal this place, bringing the painting up to my current standards.  I learn with each painting, always striving for excellence, and I'm always my own toughest critic.  As I let the brush do it's work, the painting unfolds.  Immersed in the landscape, this time restores me, and I leave this place refreshed.  Painting number 3293 in 3293 days, day 7 #stradaeasel challenge, and #win_winter2022. 

Friday, January 7, 2022

Tempest Trees

Another of my Diamine Inkvent Calendar inks - Tempest - is what I'm using to capture the trees in the hedgerow.  The glass dip pen is special, with a lovely twist of two colors leading to a nib that holds quite a bit of ink between dips. I ordered 9 new pens when I couldn't find my other glass pens in November.  Well, just today, I found my other pens, carefully stored with favorite inks and calligraphy pens in the footstool I prop my feet on almost every day!  It made perfect sense, and I can't believe I forgot.  I wanted them to be handy, rather than tucked into my art supply cabinet. Silly me!  So glad I found them!  Can't wait to use some of my favorite glass dip pens with my newest inks!  Painting number 3292 in 3292 days. 

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Melting Snow on East Creek

 I love the turn of this creek with it's high banks, and it is even more interesting when mostly frozen.  The water is moving, so even at 12 degrees it is not frozen over.  The dusting of snow we had overnight is icing on the cake of this landscape. There is little wind down here, thank goodness, and the sun offered warmth until it dipped behind the trees.  I stood facing the sun, with my back to the north, bundled up complete with hand and toe warmers on this cold day.  The seat warmers in my car felt so good as I drove away from this place!  Painting number 3291 in 3291 days, Day 6 of the #stradaeasel challenge, and #win_winter2022. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Light on the Cars


A few snowflakes are flying as I paint my first 17 degree nocturne!  Sure is warmer during daylight hours, but this is my first chance to paint today. I had trouble deciding what to paint tonight, which is rare for me.  I had started another sketch earlier in the day, but the light was gone so had to abandon that idea for now. My thoughts have been on a funeral in the morning, and nothing seemed appealing, but this lonely light pole at the top of our lane.  Painting number 3290 in 3290 days, and day 5 of the #stradaeasel challenge. #win_winter2022 for the Winter plein air challenge sponsored by some artist friends in Russia. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2022


This has been an emotional day, taking food to a grieving friend and her family, then attending the visitation of another dear artist friend, who we are related to by marriage through Dickerson brothers back three generations. Touching these lives at moments like this, brings so many memories back to the surface. I have not stayed for a funeral service since Dad. I can not. I may not again, until I have to. I find comfort here in the still night, listening to a distant owl, painting in the glow of the Edison lights hanging from the ceiling. Simply being where generations of my family have lived, is comforting. I'm looking forward to more winter nights like this. Painting number 3289 in 3289 days. 

Monday, January 3, 2022

Snow on the Pumpkins

Today finds me in the pumpkin patch - finally painting snow on my pumpkins!  My first chance of this unseasonably warm season, I am enjoying the interplay between warm light and cool shadows that push violet and blue.  The snow is melting right before my eyes, the sun shining down upon it!  Today I am starting an "extreme plein air event", shared to me from an artist in Russia who follows my work.  For the next week I will be sharing my outdoor pursuit of the perfect winter painting, tagging it with #win_winter2022.  Who  doesn't want to WIN winter 2022?!!  There are several art suppliers involved - and chances to win something everyday.  They are probably looking for creative videos on the experience, which are beyond what I currently share in process.  Maybe I'll try to add some of that to my daily work.  Truly, today was not extreme at all.  I actually got too warm in my thick wool scarf and outdoor gear, shed it all to cool off on the porch when I got back to the house!  Lol!  Pretty sure this time of year IS pretty extreme in Russia!  Painting number 3288 in 3288 days, and day 3 of the current #stradaeasel challenge. Wondering about that number?  I'm going to start correcting that each January, because I seem to lose track during the year, and even find that posts have disappeared for no apparent reason!  Oh technology, why can't you work perfectly all the time? 

Sunday, January 2, 2022

January Pin Oak

This morning, there was a nice coating of snow and the temps were in the teens, so naturally I thought it would last for days. Once the sun came out, the snow started to melt.  By the time I finished the chili and kitchen chores, I had half the snow to paint. I may have to go down by the pond to find snow tomorrow!  Painting number 3270 in 3270 days. 

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Snow at the Pond

Happy New Year!  What a wonderful way to start the new year - painting snow and ice down at the pond!  I love to explore the winter landscape in paint, and oils are my choice today.  Temps have dropped from 63 degrees yesterday to the teens today - so I am painting fast!  Complete with hand warmers and toe warmers, and all my warm gear, I am still cold.  It takes me a week or more to acclimate to the cold, and I've not yet had the chance!  It's hard to believe I spent most of yesterday outside in the gardens!  Painting number 3269 in 3269 days, possibly, but it is definitely my ninth year of daily painting today!  ❤